But even after that era, as search engines started to become a reliable and powerful way to navigate the wealth of content on the growing Web, links still dominated our exploration. Following a link from a resource that was linked to by somebody you know carried the weight of a “web of trust”, and you’d quickly come to learn whose links were consistently valuable and on what subjects. They also provided a sense of community and interconnectivity that paralleled the organic, chaotic networks of acquaintances people form out in the real world.
The net result is that Internet users use fewer different websites today than they did 20 years ago, and spend most of their “Web” time in app versions of websites [..] Truly exploring the Web now requires extra effort, like exercising an underused muscle.
This article by Dan articulates perfectly what I was feeling when browsing blogs on the Wayback Machine earlier.